Izumiya Koi farm is an absolute must to anyone who is visiting the Yamakoshi area. Its one of the most impressive Koi outlets in Japan. Many say this was the very first retail koi outlet in the Niigata area. The first real ‘Koi’ business. It can be found on the main route through Iwamagi village on the way to Mushigame, you really cannot miss it.
Mr Senichi Mano who now runs Izumiya Koi farm is a great guy. He isn’t somebody to be messed with however. He is VERY well respected within the Koi breeding and Koi dealing world, and respect is well due to this man. If there was ever a Koi breeder you would call the ‘Boss’ Senichi Mano is that man. I don’t know why but even after knowing him for so long and speaking with him many times as I have bought his Koi, he still has such an amazing presence. He can also get any koi related problem solved, when he was the president of Shinkokai (The breeders & dealers association) he helped many foreign dealers and hobbyists sort out all kinds of problems. A very good guy to know. Although try and get him down on his prices at your peril!
I guess most people who hear the name Izumiya think of Yamabuki Ogons. Izumiya Koi farm is best known for producing the very best Yamabuki Ogon in the world, and its 100% true. His Ogons in all sizes are superb, the 80cm plus fish are just something else to see. A pond with about 20 pieces all ranging from 80cms to 1M is a sight any Koi enthusiast should see. Its amazing.
Yamabuki Ogons are not all they produce though. Izumiya Koi farm has produced many varieties including:-
All these varieties come in all sizes.
Where Mano San differs from many Koi breeders is his personal attitude towards his own Koi. Mano San appreciates the size and body shapes more than he does pattern. When you look in his main ponds there will be a couple of fish where you wonder why they are in there for sale. They are just huge fish. If you look at them they will have really nice body shapes and Mano San believes to grow a Koi to this size and still have a great body and acceptable pattern that this is a fantastic achievement within itself, and he is correct. Growing Koi over 80cms no matter what the quality is an art.
Izumiya has taken Grand Champions throughout Japan with Go-sanke. I remember a magnificent Kuchibeni Kohaku winning the Nogyosai a few years ago. They have also taken a Grand Champion at the All Japan Koi show!
I envy many Koi breeders for having one of the best jobs in the world. Breeding Koi which we would all give our right arms to own, living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, having such a laid back lifestyle…I do not include Izumiya Koi farm in breeders I envy.
Breeding Sanke, Showa and Kohaku is a breeze compared to breeding Yamabuki Ogons. How do they even know where to start with them. I will give you an example using a 90cm Yamabuki Ogon we bought from Izumiya last October, she is magnificent. A real head turner for when people come into the shop. Anyway the day we bought her we were having dinner in the evening and we quickly came to the conclusion that she must have up to 1million eggs inside her, now even with my maths skills I knew that if we bred her and sold them for £1 each, this time next year we would be millionaires!! Its simple. As we were talking about our master plan Shintaro walked in to join us for dinner, we told him that we may think about breeding our new golden treasure chest. When he had stopped laughing and realised we were serious he kind of looked at us in a strange way…
Anyway he humoured us for a while before explaining to us that you would only need ‘6 spoons’. We had no idea what he was talking about and quickly put it down to the hot tea which had obviously been drugged, as only keeping 8 spoon fulls of eggs would not make us millionaires. He was however correct in what he was saying. When breeding Yamabuki Ogons most of the eggs will be thrown away because there just isn’t enough room to keep them all. Culling a single coloured fish must be an extremely difficult job, and a metallic single coloured fish must be near impossible. We will just have to take the easy option and breed chags!
There isn’t really any kind of lines to trace back Izumiya’s Yamabuki. He has produced his very own bloodline for his own Yamabuki’s. Other breeders do now produce Yamabuki’s such as Marudo and Hirasawa who both use stocks which came from Izumiya. You can instantly tell his Yamabuki though, they are quality fish.
Anyone who has visited Izumiya Koi farm will probably know his other major passion. The bulls!
Now I really have no idea how the bull fighting works, it has never really interested me apart from how it seems to go hand in hand with Koi breeding over there with many many Koi breeders having these great big bulls at their facility’s. Mano San I believe has good success with his bulls in competition and have won prizes. They are certainly a sight to see as you walk into the Koi house, they also let their presence be known by the smell associated with these animals!
The Earthquake effected Izumiya Koi farm very badly. The entire Koi house in Iwamagi slid on one side causing a slant which is there today. The power went off, the ponds cracked under the pressure and most of the Koi were lost. To add to the disaster his tosai house which was half a mile down the road ended up in the river. This has since been re-opened in Echigo Yuzawa. Mano San did still have Koi in mudponds at the time which thankfully were ok. It was still a few years later when Nisai were again available. Even now the numbers are not what they were.
Izumiya Koi farm is a must for anyone who visits the area. Mano San is a true legend within the Koi industry. He cannot speak hardly any English but always loves to be taught a phrase or two so he can show off! He has the numbers down for the ages now anyway!